Judge says 17-year-old will be tried for murder as an adult

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A Delaware judge says a 17-year-old charged with murder will stand trial as an adult.

In a ruling issued Monday, the judge denied a defense request to transfer the case against Tyliek Smith from Superior Court to Family Court.

Smith is charged with first-degree murder in the October 2017 shooting death of 19-year-old Dwayne Grimes in Wilmington. Smith was 15 years old at the time.

Prosecutors say Smith shot Grimes in the back in broad daylight with a 20-gauge sawed-off shotgun. According to Monday's court ruling, Smith allegedly admitted to three people that he shot Grimes. Prosecutors also introduced text messages at an evidentiary hearing in which Smith allegedly indicated that he was going to get Grimes “with the pump” and compared Grimes' killing to a scene from the movie “Boyz in the Hood.”

Smith is charged with first-degree murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of a destructive weapon.

Smith was arrested in West Virginia last September as part of a drug investigation and indicted in November on the murder charges. Before going to West Virginia, he had been arrested by Wilmington police in June 2019 and charged as a juvenile with aggravated menacing and criminal mischief.